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Tigers win bi-district, fall short in area

Tigers win bi-district, fall short in area
Vernon Marsh (23) goes up for 2 points during the Tigers’ bi-district playoff win over Gregory-Portland last week.

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February 26, 2014
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The Floresville Tiger basketball team clinched the bi-district championship last Tuesday night with a solid win over the Gregory-Portland Wildcats. The team then advanced to the area championship, but fell to the Laredo Martin Tigers.

While the Wildcats were a fourth-place team, there was no doubt in the mind of the Floresville coaches that they were better than their record indicated. With solid perimeter shooting and a 6-foot, 7-inch post player, the Tigers would have their hands full. The bi-district battle took place at Beeville High School, with Floresville bringing a good crowd, to include Floresville’s favorite fan, Ms. Barbara Harvey. The Floresville cheerleaders and many members of the Jaguar basketball team also attended.

The Tigers got off to a great start, with senior Estevan Mendiola shooting “lights out” with 10 points in the first quarter to give Floresville a 21-10 lead. The Tiger offense slowed down some in the second, as the Wildcats closed the gap. The score at halftime was 28-24, Floresville.

The Tigers came out of the locker room focused and executed their offense well with Derek “Mooch” Moczygemba hitting back-to-back 3-pointers. Mason Ray followed on the next possession, adding another 3-pointer. The Tigers closed out on the Wildcats, outscoring them 21-8 in the fourth quarter, giving the Tigers back-to-back bi-district trophies. The final score stood at 64-42.

Floresville finished with 11 3-pointers, and two Tigers in double digits. Mendiola scored 21 points, and Chris Albert added another 12. Albert also pulled down 10 rebounds, giving him a double-double on the night. Mooch led the team in assists with four.

The win over Gregory-Portland sent the Tigers into the next round of playoffs -- the area championship. Floresville faced the Laredo Martin Tigers in Carrizo Springs on Friday night.

It was Tigers versus Tigers and Floresville won the tip, but both teams struggled to score early. The first bucket didn’t even fall until after almost three minutes of play. Senior Mason Ray broke the stalemate, giving Floresville the first points of the game. He then followed with a pair of 3-pointers, giving the Floresville Tigers a 10-2 lead. Martin followed with a pair of its own 3-pointers and a couple of free throws to end the first period of play down by a point at 10-9.

Martin got in its groove in the second period, getting a couple of easy layups and knocking down three 3-pointers, giving the Laredo team the lead going into halftime, 24-17.

Floresville came roaring back in the third quarter, led by the hot hand of Mendiola, who scored 11 of his 19 points. This allowed Floresville to close the third quarter tied with Martin at 37-all.

The fourth quarter went in Martin’s favor, with a few easy baskets and shooting 7 of 10 from the free-throw line. Mooch hit a few buckets to keep the Floresville close, but Martin prevailed with a 50-45 victory and the title of Area Champs.

The Floresville Tigers were led by their seniors, Mendiola, with 19 points; Ray, with 10 points; and Mooch, with 8 points. Albert worked hard on the boards to earn nine rebounds, and Mooch led defensively with four steals.

While it’s always hard when the season comes to an end, the Tigers had a great year with back-to-back district and bi-district titles. The team looks forward to another great year next year, and wants to thank and wish the senior boys the best as they move on to the next stage of their lives. Senior Tigers include Captain Estevan Mendiola (15), Captain Mason Ray (20), Vernon Marsh (23), Derek Moczygemba (33), Deric Trevino (10), Aaron Laskowski (12), Zach Frantz (35), and Daniel Cunningham (51).

Thanks for the memories, seniors. Everyone wishes you the best!

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